Music News 8/14/2019


Tyler Childers, COUNTRY SQUIRE (Hickman Holler/RCA, $14.98) – The ingredients of classic honky tonk sound—the driving beat, the Telecaster guitar snarls, maybe a sweet fiddle solo—never go out of style, especially when they’re used for tunes with telling details and real emotion. Tyler Childers, hailing from Kentucky, is now following in the tradition, with great songs and a great band. Check out “House Fire”

Rodney Crowell, TEXAS (RC1, $10.98) – Rodney Crowell wrote some new songs inspired by his native state (Crowell was born in Houston), and enlisted a host of musical friends to help. Guests include Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Ronnie Dunn, Lee Ann Womack, Billy F Gibbons, Vince Gill, Steve Earle, John Jorgenson, and Ringo Starr. Mr. Crowell has been honored twice recently for his body of work: in 2017, he was awarded an ASCAP Founders Award, and on August 21, he will receive the Academy of Country Music’s Poet Award.

Martin Hayes & Brooklyn Rider, THE BUTTERFLY (In a Circle, $15.98) – Traditional Irish fiddler Martin Hayes and the contemporary classical string quartet, Brooklyn Rider, have been collaborating over the last ten years. Violinist Colin Jacobsen said this about the group’s attraction to Hayes’s approach: “To me, it is the infinitely varied inflections, and the depth of expression within what could seem like a deceptively simple tune, which make Martin a master storyteller with his instrument.” Listen to such traditional tunes as “Ship in Full Sail,” “Hole in the Hedge,” and “O’Neill’s March” played in very creative arrangements.

Sleater-Kinney, THE CENTER WON’T HOLD (Mom + Pop, $14.99) – Singer/guitarists Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein started Sleater-Kinney in 1994, and drummer Janet Weiss joined in 1996. The band’s first ten years were groundbreaking; they took a hiatus between 2006 and 2014 (with Ms. Brownstein writing a memoir, directing, and co-creating and starring in Portlandia). The group returned for more music, and have just released The Center Won’t Hold, produced by fellow musician Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent). Ms. Weiss has announced her departure from the group, but Sleater-Kinney will continue to perform and tour.


Patrice Rushen, REMIND ME: The Classic Elektra Recordings 1978 – 1984 (Strut, $15.99) – Keyboard artist Patrice Rushen created a series cross-genre hit albums mixing pop and jazz/funk; in recent years, with albums by Esperanza Spalding and Robert Glasper, her long-lasting influence has become more apparent. Remind Me collects those influential hits, including “Forget Me Nots” and “Feels So Real (Won’t Let Go)”—many in longer, 12” dance versions. Ms. Rushen is still performing, and is the chair of U.S.C.’s Popular Music Program.

Recently, Giovanni Russonello wrote a great profile of Ms. Rushen in the New York Times.

Richard Thompson, ACROSS A CROWDED ROOM: Live at Barrymore’s 1985 (Real Gone Music, 2 CDs, $23.99) – Richard Thompson assembled a great band—including the duo of Christine Collister and Clive Gregson on back-up vocals and guitars—for his tour supporting his album, Across a Crowded Room. Over the course of the nearly two-hour concert, you hear Thompson singing and playing searing guitar solos on such classic songs as “Shoot Out the Lights,” “Tear-Stained Letter,” “I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight,” and “When the Spell is Broken.”